Ghosts in The Turn of the Screw by Henry James Essay

827 Words 4 Pages
Throughout the short novella, The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, the governess continually has encounters with apparitions that seem to only appear to her. As Miles' behavior in school worsens so that he is prevented from returning, and as Flora becomes ill with a fever, the governess blames these ghosts for corrupting the children, Miles and Flora, and labels them as evil and manipulative forces in their lives. But why is it that these ghosts only seem to appear to the governess even when the children are present at the time of the sightings by the governess? Evidence from the short story leads the reader to believe that the ghosts are not real but are merely the evidence of the fragmenting sanity of the …show more content…
She describes the encounter as lasting a long, intense moment before the man passes from her view never breaking his stare at her all the while. This ghost is Peter Quint whom Mrs. Grose mentions in chapter two as liking young, fair women as employees as governesses. This appearance of the ghost could possibly be a figment of the governesses imagination because it was just before its manifestation that she was fantasizing about her employer with whom she is infatuated and in her fragile mental state, this could have fostered an appearance of a man who was attracted to his employees, something that the governess may wish upon her situation. The second visitation of the ghost of Peter Quint also occurs while the governess is by herself. As the governess, the children, and Mrs. Grouse are preparing for church, the governess goes back into the house to retrieve gloves she sees a visage of the same man she saw at the tower. When Mrs. Grose sees her face she immediately asks what is wrong. The governess goes on to describe the man that she has seen in an odd mixture of attraction and revulsion. This adds question to the reader on the subject of the validity of the

Related Documents